25 Years of Georgetown Santas

Later this month the Georgetown Santas will return for their annual event on Georgetown Road in Salina.  This year’s event marks a special milestone for the Santas, as it is their 25th year of operation.

The group of neighbors have become a popular mainstay in Salina in the days leading up to Christmas each year. Each year they Santa suit up on Georgetown Road in East Salina, handing out candy and popcorn and spreading Christmas cheer.

The tradition began back in 1998, when Jack Schmiedeler moved to Georgetown Road. He noticed a lot of traffic at Christmas from sightseers looking at the lights. He bought a Santa suit, stood outside, waved and gave away candy.

His neighbor from across the street, Paul McDaniel, asked if he could join in the fun. Other neighbors including Pete Martin, Mike Chaput, and Mel Augustine joined in the effort. Also joining in as Santa’s helpers were Justin Martin, Virgil Michaelis, and Larry Thompson. They began handing out freshly-popped popcorn in addition to the candy.

On December 21st – 23rd, 6:30pm – 9:00pm each night, the Santas and their elves will give out candy and freshly-popped popcorn to passersby.

This event is free of charge, but donations are encouraged. The operation has run entirely off of donations from the community for the last 20 years. Year after year the Santas have continued to receive enough in donations to cover the associated costs of supporting the event for the following year, namely the costs associated with procuring all of the candy and popcorn supplies.

As always, this is an event that the Santas look forward to, as they enjoy doing what they can to help spread a little Christmas cheer in the community.

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Photo via Georgetown Santas